Environmental and Climate Justice PUBPOL4046

  • Academic Session: 2023-24
  • School: School of Social and Political Sciences
  • Credits: 20
  • Level: Level 4 (SCQF level 10)
  • Typically Offered: Semester 1
  • Available to Visiting Students: Yes

Short Description

This course explores current and emerging climate and environmental inequalities and responses 'from below'. We will examine inequality, inequity and injustice in environmentalism at local, national and international scales. The course requires active participation in discussions and consideration of the implications of environmental inequalities from both theoretical and practical standpoints.


One hour weekly lecture

One hour weekly tutorial

Requirements of Entry

Entry to Honours Social & Public Policy normally requires a grade point average of 12 (grade C3) over Social & Public Policy 2A and 2B (formerly Public Policy 2A and 2B) as a first attempt.

Excluded Courses





There is one assessment - a campaign portfolio, with four aspects. For the portfolio, the student will develop and present materials for a climate and/or environmental justice campaign that is important to them (existing or new). These will all be presented within one submission.


Portfolio: They will develop materials for the campaign aimed to impact on an environmental or climate justice issue. They will compile a portfolio of 3 short pieces of writing (up to a maximum of 2,000 words, (excluding bibliography) and 1 visual element to include:


1. A campaign plan (weighted at 40%) stating:

The environmental or climate justice issue being addressed

■ The justification for the campaign and type of campaign, including perceived causes of the problem, including economic and social structures, and theory of change 

The key aims of the campaign

An analysis of the target audience and possible enablers and barriers to their engagement with the campaign

The key tactics, messages and communication tools that they would use in their campaign together with a justification for their use. This would include examples of two or three messages suitable for different channels: for facebook, twitter.


2.   A poster (weighted at 20%) using words and images to convey a key message (images must be own photos, graphics or artwork).


3. A campaign text (weighted at 20%) aimed at convincing the reader to sign a petition or take a specific action [maximum of 500 words]


4. A letter to a relevant CEO (weighted at 20%) in which they make and support an argument for or against something (not necessary to send it) [maximum of 500 words]

Are reassessment opportunities available for all summative assessments? Not applicable for Honours courses

Reassessments are normally available for all courses, except those which contribute to the Honours classification. Where, exceptionally, reassessment on Honours courses is required to satisfy professional/accreditation requirements, only the overall course grade achieved at the first attempt will contribute to the Honours classification. For non-Honours courses, students are offered reassessment in all or any of the components of assessment if the satisfactory (threshold) grade for the overall course is not achieved at the first attempt. This is normally grade D3 for undergraduate students and grade C3 for postgraduate students. Exceptionally it may not be possible to offer reassessment of some coursework items, in which case the mark achieved at the first attempt will be counted towards the final course grade. Any such exceptions for this course are described below. 

Course Aims

The overall aim is to increase knowledge of environmental inequalities and how to transition to sustainability effectively and equitably. It also increases skills regarding how to address these issues through social movement campaigns.

■  To examine inequalities in environments and disparate burdens, including in relation to climate change

■  To consider the intersection of social justice and environmental issues

■  To explore relevant conceptual, ethical, and political economy frameworks pertaining to the environment

■  To develop communication and campaigning skills in relation environmental justice issues 

■  To consider how to transition to sustainability effectively and equitably

Intended Learning Outcomes of Course

By the end of this course students will be able to:

■ Identify and explain local, national and international examples of environmental inequalities

■ Campaign and advocate for environmental and climate justice

■ Articulate the political and economic structures that maintain environmental and social inequities

■ Reflect on participation in environmental activism using both practical and theoretical lenses

Minimum Requirement for Award of Credits

Students must submit at least 75% by weight of the components (including examinations) of the course's summative assessment.